Five Malaysian men were sentenced to jail and caning on Thursday by an Islamic court for attempting to have gay sex, reports and an activist said. Brunei's sultan has announced death by stoning for gay sex and adultery will not be enforced after a global backlash, but critics today called for harsh sharia laws to be abandoned entirely. Brunei's sultan called for Islamic teachings in the country to be strengthened as strict new sharia punishments, including death by stoning for gay sex and adultery, were due to come into force on Wednesday. Brunei's imposition of harsh sharia laws, including death by stoning for gay sex and adultery, is a bid by the country's ruler to boost support among conservatives and highlights a steady drift away from the West, observers say.
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Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in The country has repealed its colonial-era laws that directly discriminated against homosexual and transgender identities and also explicitly interpreted Article 15 of the Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But many legal protections have not been provided for, including same-sex marriage. Transgender people in India are allowed to change their legal gender post- sex reassignment surgery under legislation passed in , and have a constitutional right to register themselves under a third gender. Additionally, some states protect hijras , a traditional third gender population in South Asia through housing programmes, and offer welfare benefits, pension schemes, free operations in government hospitals as well as other programmes designed to assist them.